Utilizing social media is a powerful way to spread your organization’s message and expand your community. But in the rush to join the social media bandwagon, some groups are spreading themselves awfully thin. If one social network is good, then three or four must be better – or so the thinking goes. It’s a classic example of mistaking quantity for quality, and it’s a recipe for burning out staff and turning off supporters.

Nor is it especially helpful with search engine rankings. Google is growing ever more sophisticated about rewarding timely and original content. It’s no longer enough merely to have a website, a blog and a couple of social media accounts. To be effective on the web, you need to refresh those sites frequently with high-quality content.

So when it comes to social media, avoid the temptation to divide your organization’s resources over too many platforms. Often the best approach is to do less but do it better. Keep these tips in mind:

• Be worthy of your supporters’ time. The only surefire way to cut through media noise is to address your audience’s needs. Appeal to their self-interest. Play to their self-image. Remember, your supporters won’t simply give you their attention. You have to earn it with worthwhile content.

• Take a holistic approach. Regard your website, blog and social media sites as components of an overall web presence. While some redundancy is inevitable and occasionally desirable, each platform should have a distinct function and voice.

• Think strategically. Know the purpose of a social media platform before you launch it. Set clear goals for the site and use analytics to measure the response.

• Make a plan. An editorial calendar is essential. Identify relevant topics and assign them to your writers with firm deadlines and clear instructions about the number of posts they’re expected to write.

• Commit the necessary resources. Online posts may seem like breezy, off-the-cuff remarks, but it can take practice to do them well. Writing is hard work, especially after you’ve exhausted the obvious topics. Draft a work plan before you launch the account, and give your staff enough time to get up to speed and do the job right.

Need help getting started? Give us a call. We’ll develop a plan, set up the sites, and provide content to engage your audience, shore up support, and build community.